More on Abbahu

For background, see Numbers 23:19, Enoch.

Genesis Rabbah 25:1 has Abbahu’s comments on God taking Enoch. I’m not sure if I find them all that convincing. The translation is from my Judaic Classics Library.

Some sectarians asked R. Abbahu: We do not find that Enoch died? How so? inquired he. ‘Taking’ is employed here, and also in connection with Elijah, said they. If you stress the word “taking”, he answered, then ‘taking’ is employed here, while in Ezekiel it is said, Behold, I take away from thee the desire of thine eyes, etc. (Ezek. XXlV, 16). R. Tanhuma observed: He answered them well. A matron asked R. Jose: ‘ We do not find death stated of Enoch? Said he to her: If it said, AND ENOCH WALKED WITH GOD, and no more, I would agree with you. Since, however, it says, AND HE WAS NOT, FOR GOD TOOK HIM, it means that he was no more in the world, [having died,] FOR GOD TOOK HIM.”

Abbahu’s comments on Numbers 23:19 are in Jerusalem Talmud Ta’anit 2.65b. Unfortunately, I don’t have a Jerusalem Talmud, and the HUC library is still undergoing development, so I can’t exactly walk in, find one, and check it out. But at least I have the reference, anytime I decide to look it up. Actually, I’ll post a link to an article that has that and other references: Abbahu – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Abbahu loved to debate Christians using Scripture!

About jamesbradfordpate

My name is James Pate. This blog is about my journey. I read books. I watch movies and TV shows. I go to church. I try to find meaning. And, when I can’t do that, I just talk about stuff that I find interesting. I have degrees in fields of religious studies. I have an M.Phil. in the History of Biblical Interpretation from Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio. I also have an M.A. in Hebrew Bible from Jewish Theological Seminary, an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School, and a B.A. from DePauw University.
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